Basically, everything above applies to RC above. The only difference is in how you adjust your timing. You may find that you have a particular topic area or passage type that takes you a little longer. If so, give yourself permission to read for a little longer up front. For instance, some students have a hard time with complicated science passages. If you take 5 minutes up front, rather than the usual 4 for a long passage, that only translates to an extra :15 per question. If this extra time makes the difference between getting the passage and not getting it, then it's time well-spent.
Of course, if you find yourself going over on both RC & CR on a regular basis, you have a timing problem. You need to make sure that your timing plan includes counter-balances. Where are you going to save time?
A few suggestions:
1) It's not a good idea to rush through an RC passage, or choose a passage to "write off." However, if you realize after several questions that you have misunderstood the material, it's probably not worth trying to go back and re-read the whole thing to salvage the remaining questions.
2) The best problems to drop are CR. Since SC problems are so short, you don't gain a lot of time by skipping them. That's not to say that you should skip CR problems often, but if you find yourself short on time, that's the best thing to cut.
3) While you're practicing, make a habit of analyzing your time usage. What takes you the longest? Are you spending your time productively? Are there problem types, answer choices, etc., that eat up your time? When you go overtime on a problem, do you tend to change your answer, or do you end up producing the same answer that you would have if you'd finished on time? If you run this kind of analysis, you can find safe ways to cut time, while making sure that any overtime you incur is actually helping to increase your score.
Dmitry Farber | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | New York
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